Sungmyung Chun : Absurd Mass
7. 20 - 9. 22. 2012

SongEun ArtSpace is proud to present the solo exhibition of our second featured Korean artist, SungMyung Chun, “Absurd Mass”, which includes his new works, significant for their drastic departure from his previous, well-acclaimed style.

Though Chun specializes in the traditional technique of sculpture, he creates narrative, autobiographical installations in a completely innovative manner. For him, looking deep into himself as a metaphor for the people of this age has been a consistent theme since the beginning of his career. To depict the journey of exploring the inner self, he has developed his own distinctive style of placing realistic sculptures within a theatrical plot. The reflection of the self in his recent works, however, has been extended from the inner self to the social self. In this ninth solo exhibition, “Absurd Mass,” Chun develops his new interest in the self in a social context by experimenting with entirely new colors and morphological transformations.    
The installation, arranged in fragments of sculpture, provides symbolic insight into a reality where an individual endures isolation and internal conflict with society. Chun assumes an invisible protagonist in this narrative, while he had previously presented tangible self-portrait figures in past exhibitions. The story begins with a presentation of the protagonist’s torso on the second floor. The absence of limbs and feature connotes lack of function and the loss of an innate identity. From the fragmented body, the subject’s consciousness goes along the corridor and up the stairs. As he reaches the top of the building, he confronts himself, shrunken in relation to a wider external surrounding. 
On the third floor of the exhibition, different sentences that have been excerpted from movies and soap operas—regardless of the context—can be heard from loudspeakers. The whole space resonates with uncommunicative phrases that are repeated endlessly, and emphasize the absurd situation. Continuing to trace the path that the protagonist follows, viewers pass a bridge that leads to another room. As one goes over this bridge, space becomes limited and vision futile, allowing the viewer to experience the same segregation as the protagonist, and thereby empathize with him as a fragmented subject.
In the other room of the third floor, there are symbolic clues about the protagonist, who does not physically exist. There are curtains implying private space, five hearts, a typical dictator’s coat on a hanger, and a monumental sculpture without the head that is accentuated by natural light. There are also green footprints—significant due to their green waterproof paint, typical of many Korean building tops—scattered all over the floor, toy soldiers, a dinosaur’s head and a tea table. These objects placed on the footprint do not correspond with each other and the scene figuratively presents unfamiliarity and an absurd state, whilst also allowing us to understand the inner and outer appearances of the protagonist.
At the top of the building, the protagonist contemplates and endures the blazing sunshine. In the mezzanine, a girl holding a lamp, which is Chun’s unique figure, is a symbol of the sun. In this exhibition, her bodies appear to be stacked one on top of the other, creating a looming and overbearing tower that increases the protagonist’s psychological pressure. The fourth floor is an ideological space that is separated from the physical spaces in which the protagonist travels. It metaphorically shows the protagonist’s inner state through the uniformly swimming figures. The whole body of the individual protagonist is never shown, and even the group of swimmers remains anonymous. Moving his attention from introspection to the outer environment and the relationships between individuals and society, Chun focuses on the subject’s daily life, which is inevitably separated and reduced within such relationships, in the context of ‘absurdness’.
The exhibition will be divided into two parts, ending with an Epilogue (September 10th - 22nd) in which artist Chun will feature the same works but with a completely different viewpoint and arrangement. Its whole context will be completed with the epilogue, thereby concluding the “Absurd Mass” experience. The Artist’s Talk will be held on September 7th at 2:00pm in the S. Atrium (B2).

About the Artist
Born in Suwon, Korea in 1971, Chun graduated with a BFA in Sculpture and a MFA from Suwon University.He has shown a total of eight solo exhibitions including the “Swallowing the Shadow”series (2007, 2008) since his debut, “The Clown, Catching the Stars”(2000). He was also selected in major group shows, including “Young Artists from Korea, China and Japan” (National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea, 2004), “Eye of the Pacific Rim”(Jeju Museum of Art, 2009), “One Fine Day”(Rodin Gallery, 2007), Busan Biennale(2004), and “SeMA 2004”(Seoul Museum of Art, 2004). Chun received the Kim Sejoong Young Sculptor Awards, Grand Prize in 2007. His work ‘Nameless Forest,’ co-produced with American choreographer Dean Moss, was performed in The Kitchen in New York in 2011.
Work Images
Art Space